Can a Christian …

Can a person be a Christian and _________?  We’ve all heard that or wrestled with it at one time or another.  We may  be tempted at times to wish for a simple list of 80 gazillion rules that spell out every possible situation, leaving no grey areas to deal with.  That’s basically what they had in the Old Testament and that didn’t work out either.  There are so many issues the Bible either doesn’t speak to or doesn’t address as clearly as we would like.  Can a Christian drink?  What about smoking?  Can I be a Christian and still get a tattoo/play cards/dance/listen to pop, rap and/or country music?

The Bible may seem at times to give conflicting instruction.  We are to walk circumspectly of the world, and to not love the world or the things the world loves.  Paul makes cryptic statements like “all things are lawful for me but not all things are profitable.”  That’s the law of grace, but… what?  Can I play Texas Hold’em or not?

Dave Miller at SBC Voices does an awesome job with this.  He divides most issues up into four categories, and rather than attempt to answer each question he guides the individual to set up a rubric of sorts to work them out.  I found this post in particular very well written and extremely helpful.  He links to many other posts in the series.  Highly recommended.

Defecting to Faith

stain glass crossFirst, let me say that I’ve been reading several different blogs listed at SBC Voices, and will soon be adding some of those to my blogroll.  A button for SBC Voices appears in the sidebar if you would like to check it out; I’ve been introduced to some really good blogs over there including Confessions of a Recovering Pharisee, who shares the story below.

According to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, often quoted by atheists to show how quickly religion is failing, children raised in non-religious homes tend not to stay that way.  The New York Times calls the situation “defecting to faith,” and reports that over half of those raised with no religious affiliation will choose one in adulthood.  Only 13 or 14 percent of those raised in Christian homes will defect.  And although atheism has large numbers of “converts” each year, it also has one of the lowest retention rates. 

Link to Kevin’s article here, with more stats and links.